Your Holiday Rental Property Description
Spending time over your property description is very important. Some holiday rental websites suggest you have a 10-20 second window of impression upon your viewer but in reality 5-10 seconds is more likely.
It’s essential you get visitors excited about your property. Remember what drew you to the area in the first place. Make your property description detailed. Be passionate and enthusiastic while using original content (not copied and pasted from your personal website). Think brand not bland. It’s easy to get swallowed up alongside many local competitors on free holiday rental listing sites so keep looking at ways to update and improve your listings.
A property description of 4/5 easy-to-read paragraphs of up to 400-600 words is ideal.
Do make use of the dedicated customer support agents at the larger holiday rental sites (HomeAway, Holiday Lettings, Airbnb, Flip Key) for ‘free’ advice on your listing.
What to include in your property description:
- Make your subject headline an attention grabber – this can also affect search engine ranking.
For example; ‘Spacious 2-bedroom apartment near the Royal Mile, perfect for families’. (As opposed to ‘Apartment to rent in central Edinburgh’)
- Your USP*, location, property type**, property size and number of bedrooms.
- Your target market.***
- Your property theme.****
- Be clear about your maximum number of guests. Include sofa beds but state clearly that any extra person(s) would sleep here.
- Do you have a swimming pool? Is it private or communal?
- Do you have any views?
- Do you have Wifi internet access? If so make sure your prospective guests knows.
- Is anything new? Refurbished? New airlines flying to your local airport? Is there a new motorway?
- Is it south-facing?
- Is there a king-size bed?
- Do you have luxurious or antique furniture?
- Are you flexible with your changeover days? A supplement is normal for this. The cheaper flights are regularly midweek. Sometimes flights only operate on certain dates
- Is anything free (shuttle bus, ski-pass, wifi)? Everyone loves free things! One of our clients includes a free motorway toll payment in her rental rates and it has become a very popular unique selling point.
- What’s within walking distance? Holiday makers don’t want to get in their car too much.
- What local amenities are great for families and kids? Waterpark? Beach?
- Local sport (professional football matches, golf, tennis courts), art festivals, museums, galleries, historical sites.
- Tick as many facilities as possible as the property will show up in results if guests refine their search criteria.
- Keywords / Key phrases (e.g. ‘Rent villa in Deia, Majorca’) which could bring users directly to your page.
- Suitable for elderly, children or wheelchair users. (i.e. 1st floor or above?)
- Are pets accepted?
- Consider what is available to guests in ‘off-peak’ seasons to attract them in.
- Your contact details! Include a telephone number most likely to be answered.
- Distance to beach/skiing gondola.
- Seasonal? Indoor heated pool? Nearby Christmas market?
- Skiing holiday – exactly how far is it to the gondolas/lifts. Info about when slopes are open.
- Guest comments (get permission) – If guests email you favourable comments, post them on your site and state clearly in your advertisements that further guests testimonials are available on your personal website.
What NOT to include in your property description:
- Don’t give away your exact address or property number. Protect your security.
- There’s no need for extensive information about the area, the viewer has already found it.
- Don’t use slang. Many people using these holiday rental sites won’t speak English fluently.
- DON’T USE CAPITALS. It looks like you’re SHOUTING.
- Try not to use “No…” (e.g. ‘No groups’ ‘No pets’). It makes you sound stuffy and unfriendly. Choose your words carefully.
- Don’t over promise or exaggerate. Your advert must be accurate. The last thing you want is for a guest to claim your advert was misrepresentative and wanting compensation or their money back. This will inevitably lead to negative reviews.
- Do not copy text from other sites as this is copyright infringement. Even doing so from your own website will negatively affect your search engine optimisation.
- Consider whether you want to add an email address as this will probably increase your intake of spam.
And when you’re done…
- Get friends to look over for feedback.
- Check spelling and grammar.
- Change it up according to time of year. Can you run seasonal promotions?
- Carry on to adding your rates, images and availability…
*It’s imperative you identify your unique selling point as soon as possible. What sets your property apart? The pool? Views? Location? Garden?
**There are a lot of different holiday property types out there. Many holiday-makers will narrow down their search criteria to only look at one or two. It’s worth deliberating over which generic category yours will belong to. Apartment(1), barn, boat, bungalow, cabin, castle, chalet(5), chateau, condo, cottage(3), country-house, farm-house, finca, gite, house(4), house-boat, lodge, mobile home, riad or villa(2)? (Figure in bracket denotes most common)
***Many holiday rental websites will give users the opportunity to specify their party type. It’s worth ticking as many as possible in your advert property theme. For example, is your property suitable for singles, couples, groups and families?
****Some holiday letting websites will permit users to search by the following themes – city breaks, fishing, golf, groups, horse riding, near beach, nightlife, romantic, rural, resort, retreat, short break, skiing, village, walking/hiking, watersports, wedding. So it is worth taking a moment to consider which is/are most pertinent to your property. Tick as many as possible (usually 3-5).
Most sites use Google map locator pins to allow owners to pinpoint their location.
We recommend using it as more and more travellers want to know exactly where they could stay. However if you are at all concerned about security, don’t. You can always give further information out at the point of booking.
Lost of listings sites now offer this with the intention being that it introduces the visitor to the owner and gives them a feel of their character. We encourage a very small bio. Don’t go overboard but keep it friendly and professional. Introduce yourself, how long you’ve been renting and how much you enjoy sharing it with guests.